Whatsapp Scam Alert: Scamsters Posing As Whatsapp Staff, Asking Verification Codes
Recently, a new WhatsApp scam has emerged in which an account that pretends as an official communication source for WhatsApp technical team asks users to share their verification code.
How Does It Work?
The above-mentioned account uses a WhatsApp logo as its profile picture to convince users.
Here it is noteworthy that WhatsApp teams don’t use the messaging app to communicate with users and instead use social media channels, including Twitter or the company’s official blog to send public announcements.
This scam came into the picture, when WhatsApp features tracker, WABetaInfo posted a tweet to highlight the latest scam after a Twitter user, Dario Navarro enquired about a fishy message that the users had received.
According to the screenshot shared by Navarro, the scammer sends a message in Spanish asking users to verify their identity by providing their six-digit verification code that comes via an SMS message.
Further, the verification code is used to activate a WhatsApp account on a new device.
Basically, it is aimed to protect user accounts on the messaging app from bad actors.
What Does WhatsApp Say?
The unaware users may fall for this since the scammer uses the WhatsApp logo as the profile picture for the account in question.
Although, as noted by the WaBetaInfo, WhatsApp doesn’t message users on the app, and if it would in a rare circumstance, a green verified indicator will be visible alongside the logo and the account name.
The important point to note here is that the Facebook-owned company doesn’t ask users to provide any of their data, including verification codes.
So, the message seen in the screenshot is nothing but a scam to gain account access and users should not pay attention to any such messages.
Apart from that, WhatsApp has clearly mentioned that users are advised to not share the SMS verification code with others on its website.
The company wrote in its FAQs section as “If someone is trying to take over your account, they need the SMS verification code sent to your phone number to do so. Without this code, any user attempting to verify your number can’t complete the verification process and use your phone number on WhatsApp,”.
How To Claim Your Stolen Account?
In case someone has stolen your account then you can also get back it by re-verifying your phone number in case you’ve accidentally shared the verification code with someone else, as defined in another FAQ post by WhatsApp.
It’s not the first time when a scam has emerged in which users are being asked to provide their verification codes.
Also, the process of hijacking WhatsApp accounts by acquiring the verification code isn’t new.
Moreover, due to the coronavirus outbreak-led surge in WhatsApp usage recently, some hackers tried to obtain verification codes of WhatsApp users in markets including the UK by contacting victims as if they’re their known friends.
Back in 2018, a similar issue was reported as well.